New Volkswagen Arteon: UK launch prices and specs revealed
Volkswagen's new flagship saloon swoops into UK showrooms with two high-spec trim levels, with more engines coming later this year
Order books are open now, with the Arteon priced from £34,305. The entry-level price will eventually drop nearer to £30,000 though, with the introduction of cheaper, lower powered models. UK buyers will be offered two trim lines – Elegance and R-Line – while three engine options are available for now.
At that £34,305 price tag, buyers will get a 2.0-litre diesel with 148bhp in Elegance trim, mated to a seven-speed DSG gearbox. A more powerful 2.0-litre TDI engine with 237bhp, a DSG gearbox and 4MOTION all-wheel-drive is available from £39,170, while the sole petrol offering at launch is priced from £38,755. It’s a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder producing 276bhp, and is also fitted with a DSG transmission and all-wheel-drive.
Later this year we’ll get entry-level cars using VW’s new 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine, tuned to 148bhp and available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG. A mid-spec 187bhp 2.0-litre TSI petrol with a DSG gearbox will also be added.
The diesel range will grow with the addition of an entry-level six-speed manual gearbox option on the 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI. Cars in R-Line trim are all priced with a £785 premium for now.
New Volkswagen Arteon: fresh VW design language
Sitting on the VW Group’s MQB platform, the 4,862mm long Arteon stands out from the rest of the VW range thanks to the implementation of a new design language heavily influenced by the Sport Coupe Concept revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015. The large bonnet caps the whole front end of the car, dipping into the wheelarches and meeting the new LED headlights. The lights themselves are seamlessly part of the wide, horizontal grille – a design trait Volkswagen says will be more prevalent in its next generation models.
The five-door coupe roofline is paired with a strong character line running from the headlights to the tail-lights, creating a noticeable shoulder towards the rear of the car. Around the back, new horizontal LED tail-lights are placed beneath a small lip spoiler on the hatch lid, which opens up to reveal a 563-litre boot.
New Volkswagen Arteon: interior and technology
In the cabin, the most striking feature is the long horizontal air vent stretching the width of the dashboard, similar to the one found in the Passat. It’s joined by a low-profile ambient lighting strip, which merges into the front doors to create a cocooned feel up front. Three seats are in found in the rear, with 1,016mm of legroom for passengers. Fold them down, and it creates a 1,557-litre boot. UK cars get Nappa leather upholstery as standard.
In terms of tech, UK buyers will benefit from Volkswagen deciding to offer the Arteon only in two high spec trim levels. As standard, an eight-inch touchscreen with sat-nav will be included on all cars, while the 12.3-inch digital instrument display will also be included. A larger 9.2-inch Discover Pro central infotainment screen with gesture control makes the options list.
An eight-speaker sound system, Bluetooth audio and telephone connectivity, and Volkswagen Media Control app compatibility, allowing the infotainment to be controlled through a smartphone, are all standard.
Standard driver assists include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with predictive cruise control; City Emergency Braking; Front Assist; Speed Assist; Traffic Jam Assist; Lane Assist and Driver Alert fatigue warning system.
On the options list will be a panoramic sunroof, front massaging seats, a heated steering wheel, a 16 speaker audio setup, and larger alloy wheels up to 20-inch in size. 18-inch wheels are fitted as standard, alongside LED headlights and taillights.
New Volkswagen Arteon: driver assistance and safety
Volkswagen has revealed in detail some of the new driver safety and assistance features heading the way of the Areton.
One of those features will be Emergency Assist 2.0 – a system which makes full use of the Arteon’s suite of assists to take brief control of the car in an emergency.
Emergency Assist 2.0 is intended to deal with worst-case scenarios such as the driver becoming incapacitated at the wheel. In short, if it detects an unresponsive driver.
If the car senses that the driver has not used the wheel or pedals for a certain period of time, the system will first deploy ‘countermeasures’ such as warning signals and lights, plus physical autonomous brake jolt signals. If these measures aren’t enough, the emergency stop system steps in. The hazard lights automatically switch on, and by using the lane keep assist in tandem with the steering controls from the parking assist feature, the Arteon will begin to move across into the nearside lane. Side assist uses ultrasound sensors to detect traffic around the vehicle, while the adaptive cruise control regulates brake and throttle.
A Pre-Crash system to detect approaching dangers is another one of the Arteon’s safety assist features, but this new setup can now detect imminent shunts from the rear.
Pre-Crash uses data from the traction control system to detect potential crashes related to driving dynamics, data from the Front Assist system to warn and overt potential head-on collisions, and now it can use data from the Side Assist function to sense danger from behind. Side Assist is used as a blind-spot detection system most of the time, but its sensors can also sweep the road behind, either when stationary or when moving.
If it detects an imminent risk, the system will step in and react by turning on the hazard warning lights, closing the windows and pulling the seatbelts taut.
New Volkswagen Arteon: engines, powertrains and performance
Six engines appear at launch. VW’s new 1.5 TSI petrol engine forms the base option with 148bhp and cylinder deactivation technology. It’s joined by two 2.0-litre options which we've driven already in a pre-production model – one with 187bhp and a more powerful 276bhp engine mated to 4MOTION four-wheel drive as standard.
The three diesels are all 2.0 TDI units, with 148bhp, 187bhp and 237bhp respectively. 4MOTION all-wheel-drive will be an option on cars with the 187bhp diesel, while it’ll be standard on the 237bhp car.
Seven-speed DSG gearboxes are available on all engines, and will be standard on the 2.0-litre petrol models as well as the range-topping diesel.
Economy figures remain withheld for all but two models – the range-topping petrol and diesel units. The 276bhp 2.0 TSI will return a claimed 38.7mpg with CO2 emissions of 164g/km. The 237bhp 2.0 TDI manages 47.9mpg, in tandem with 152g/km CO2.
Hybrid power could arrive further down the line. The Sport Coupe Concept GTE concept from 2015 used a 374bhp 3.0-litre petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain hinting at a future Arteon GTE model. In concept form, it promised an impressive 118mpg and CO2 emissions of 46g/km.
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